KARNES COUNTY  – The ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has left a void in the sports world, with no timetable set for a return as of Monday, April 13.

Falls City graduate Kyle Houdmann, now the special teams coordinator at Nixon-Smiley, said it has been a trying time for himself, his fellow coaches, and his students.

“Just trying to stay in contact with players and students has been the biggest thing,” said Houdmann. “Just letting them know that we are still there for them, if they need anything. The love we have for those kids doesn’t end the moment we leave school or the field.”

Houdmann was a senior on the Beavers’ 2010 State Championship team. An injury forced him to miss the postseason, yet he remained on the sideline in a supporting role. 

Despite the uncertainty of the times, some schools in the state decided to light a beacon of hope in their communities, metaphorically and literally.

In response to an ongoing ‘challenge’ on social media, Karnes City ISD opted to turn on the lights at Poss Johnson Field on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8-9 p.m. Falls City ISD later followed suit with that same schedule.

Karnes City athletic director Jim Wood said, “I saw this challenge on Twitter, from Dumas ISD up in the Panhandle. 

They wanted to light up their stadium for one hour for a few nights a week to let the kids know we’re all thinking of them. So, we decided to light up our football and baseball lights. We miss them all.”

Given the Easter season, Wood added that his faith has kept him going as he does his duties remotely.

“Prayer helps. We’re hoping and praying for all this to pass as soon as possible, and get back to a sense of normalcy.”

James Ratcliff is a high school sports contributor for The Karnes Countywide. He can be reached at 830-216-3864.